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Launch of the State of Mediterranean Forests 2018

(Rome, 7 December 2018) “The Mediterranean forest area has increased by two percent between 2010 and 2015, resulting in a rise of 1.8 million hectares – about the size of Slovenia“, states the “State of Mediterranean Forests 2018” published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations- FAO and PlanBleu -the Regional Activity Center of UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan.

Despite such a positive growth of green areas, there are some serious circumstances affecting very negatively the Mediterranean Forest area. Threats as climate change, population rise, wildfires and water scarcity have serious and very deleterious impacts, with a visible and high level of degradation, whose ultimate consequences are affecting the fauna that normally habit the forests in the Mediterranean area and the entire ecosystem in its entirety.

The research provides information regarding 27 countries from both the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean basin, as well as Balkans and the Middle Eastern countries. The importance of this report is linked to its capacity to provide a rich picture of the current situation of forests in an area, which, as reported by Plan Bleu, is “about 88 million hectares – the size of France and Italy and represents two percent of the global forest area“. A very vast territory that, according to the key figures presented by the study, is in extreme peril. Adopting a regional approach might result a solution to address the Mediterranean forest ecosystems. But if no action will be taken the chance to revert these trends are limited.

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